Can You Tune 9’s Down P C Strings

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As a guitar enthusiast, I understand the importance of tuning and the impact it has on the overall sound. One common question that often arises is whether it’s possible to tune 9’s down to PC strings. Let’s dive into this topic and explore the technicalities involved.

Understanding String Gauges

Before we delve into tuning, it’s essential to grasp the concept of string gauges. The gauge of a string refers to its thickness, which directly affects the tension and pitch when tuned to a specific note. The standard gauge for electric guitars is typically 9-42, where the first string has a gauge of 9 and the sixth string has a gauge of 42.

Tuning Down to PC Strings

Now, when it comes to tuning down to PC strings, which are often used for drop tunings or heavier styles of music, it’s important to consider the impact on string tension. The PC string set is designed for lower tunings such as Drop C or Drop B, and they are typically thicker and have higher tension compared to standard 9’s.

While it is technically possible to tune 9’s down to PC strings, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential issues that may arise. The lighter gauge of the 9’s may lead to floppy and unstable feel when tuned down to the desired PC tuning. Additionally, the lower tension may cause buzzing, intonation problems, and even potential damage to the guitar if not properly set up to accommodate the change in tension.

Considerations and Precautions

As someone who has experimented with different string gauges and tunings, I’ve found that making such a significant change requires careful consideration and adjustments. If you’re set on tuning down to PC strings, it’s advisable to have a professional guitar technician set up your instrument to ensure that the change in tension is accounted for. This may involve adjusting the truss rod, the bridge, and potentially filing the nut to accommodate the thicker strings.

Personal Experience and Recommendations

From my personal experience, I’ve found that while it may be possible to tune 9’s down to PC strings, the overall playability and tone may not be optimal without proper setup and adjustments. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before embarking on such a change and to consider the long-term impact on the instrument.


In conclusion, while the idea of tuning 9’s down to PC strings may seem feasible, it’s essential to approach it with caution and understanding of the potential challenges involved. Seek professional guidance if you decide to make such a change, and always prioritize the health and integrity of your instrument.